A man charged in relation to the abduction of a young girl in Palmerston North last week has appeared in the Rotorua District Court today.

The man appeared today and has been remanded in custody to appear in Palmerston North District Court next month.

He has interim name suppression.

Rotorua police were unable to confirm to the Rotorua Daily Post whether the man had been arrested in Rotorua.


Inspector Sarah Stewart said in a statement she hoped the development would provide reassurance to the community.

She wanted to thank the community for their support and assistance throughout the investigation.

A number of suppression orders were made preventing media from publishing any further details about the man.

The principal of the school the girl attended said the news of an arrest was "a relief".

"As can be expected, we're relieved. We're relieved for the girl's whanau."

Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith said the arrest was a "real relief".

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"There's obvious relief that an arrest has been made... Relief not only for the family but also for the community of Palmerston North."

Mr Smith said there had been "understandable angst" in the community following the abduction.

"As you can expect, people, especially those with young kids, were quite worried.

"Something like this is very rare for any community in New Zealand.

"While people's worries were understandable, it was an isolated incident.

"Parents need to look out for the children, as always, but hopefully they'll begin to feel safe allowing their children to walk to school again."

Police launched a massive manhunt for the alleged offender after the girl, who cannot be named for legal reason, was taken from Shamrock Street last Friday.

The young girl was taken as she walked school with her two sisters about 8.30am on Friday.

About two hours later she was dumped outside a house on Hind Place.

Officers investigating the abduction yesterday appealed for sightings of a late model white Nissan Maxima.

They described the incident as "every family's worst nightmare".